Posted in Miscellaneous

Undervalued YA Books Vol. 1

Hola, Book Dragons! Let’s talk about some undervalued YA books today. Here is a list of 13 YA books, year-wise, I’ve read that made my favorite pile but which I haven’t seen many people reading.

1. Just One Wish – Janette Rallison

This was a sweet story about one girl’s need to take care of her little brother. As the synopsis says, this novel will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery. But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right? Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.


2. Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

This is one hilarious book with such witty writing it will you laughing all through-out the book! (You can read my review here.)

Synopsis: The wait is over for the paperback of this irresistible, fast-paced, hit-worthy debut! When funny, charming, absolutely-normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit?and rockets Audrey to stardom! Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed?let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same?at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!


3. The Host – Stephenie Meyer

The movie was great and who can resist Jake Abel? But the book now? The book was freaking amazing! As a norm, I hate love triangles but can a body hosting 2 souls having feelings for 2 guys be construed as a love triangle? I think not. But don’t take my word for it. Read the book. 😉

Synopsis: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love. Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.


4. Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood – Eileen Cook

This book struck very close to one of my own personal issues and set of values. A best friend is sacred and deserves your loyalty and protection. You don’t betray your best friend and throw her to the wolves. You don’t add to her misery. There’s a special kind of hell for people who betray and cheat and lie and hurt others for their own gain. I liked Helen a lot and I could relate to her. Her style, her snarky charm and clear voice were cool. Solid good book. (You can read my review here.)

Synopsis: Popularity is the best revenge. In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls–and now, at the start of her senior year, she’s the cheerleading captain, the quarterback’s girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she’s ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend. But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she’s moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that’s ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend. Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.


5. Five Flavors of Dumb – Antony John

I can’t remember how I came across this book but I do know the fantastic cover played a big part. The writing was really good and I enjoyed this story a lot. 🙂

Synopsis: Piper is a seventeen-year-old high school senior, and she’s just been challenged to get her school’s super-popular rock band, Dumb, a paying gig. The catch? Piper is deaf. Can she manage a band with five wildly different musicians, nurture a budding romance, and discover her own inner rock star, though she can’t hear Dumb’s music?


6. Epic Fail – Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail is one of my favorite among Claire Lazebnik’s YA Contemporary books. It’s a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice and it’s hilarious. If you guys liked Pride and Prejudice, you might give this a try.

Synopsis: At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point: – As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school–not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects. – As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list. When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.


7. The Waiting Sky – Lara Zielin

Whoa, this book focused on major issues, a teenage girl stuck with an alcoholic mother. It was heartbreaking at times the choices she had to make. (You can read my review here.)

The Waiting Sky
Synopsis: One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane’s life for the better. Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can’t quite admit her mother’s alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane’s best friend. Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty–is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.


8. How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True – Sarah Strohmeyer

Every time I think about this book, the writing just blows me away. It was so good! The words were a pleasure to read.

Synopsis: When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they’ve hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want? Once Zoe arrives, however, she’s assigned to serve “The Queen”-Fairyland’s boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money. Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe’s job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?


9. The Avery Shaw Experiment – Kelly Oram

Wonderful romantic comedy. Grayson’s voice is hilarious.

Synopsis: When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically. The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart. Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.


10. Soundless – Richelle Mead

Stand-alone book by Richelle Mead. Ikr! The author of the Vampire Academy series usually only writes series but this stand-alone was fantastic, with twists you could never see coming and an OTP you could totally ship. (And how badass is that cover?)

Synopsis: In a village without sound… For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation. One girl hears a call to action… Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon. She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever… And unlocks a power that will save her people.


11. If We Were a Movie – Kelly Oram

This was a really good book, sweet and hilarious. I would definitely read it again. (You can read my review here.)

Synopsis: Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella. NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get. Enter his new roommate Jordan–a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.


12. To Best The Boys – Mary Weber

Some books are written so well, with such original plot-lines, you can’t help but fall for them. That’s what To Best The Boys was for me. This was a gem of a book that I ended up loving more than I’d expected and for a book dragon, isn’t that the best feeling in the world? 😉 (You can read my review here.)

Synopsis: The task is simple: don a disguise. Survive the Labyrinth. Best the boys. In a thrilling new fantasy from the bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, one girl makes a stand against society and enters a world made exclusively for boys. Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port have received a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. The poorer residents look to see if their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope. In the province of Caldon, where women train in wifely duties and men pursue collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition. With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone is ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the deadly maze. Welcome to the Labyrinth.


13. The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

Fresh and appealing writing style, with awe-inspiring characters, a wit that was a true pleasure to read, a good plot that kept you engaged in the story and plot twists that had your stomach in knots. I loved everything about this book. (You can read my review here.)

Synopsis: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light


You guys, just talking about these books is making me want to re-read them! The one thing I can say without any doubt, is the writing for all these 13 books were so good, they made me keep reading.

I do hope you give them a try.



I'm a die-hard Book Dragon and also an advanced introvert. My blog's about books, books and more books. (yep, that was easy) I might, from time to time, write about life and its vagaries. I like taking pictures of books and doing origami and cross-stitch.

13 thoughts on “Undervalued YA Books Vol. 1

  1. I feel horrible that I haven’t read or heard of any of these books BESIDES The Downstairs Girl – which I loved!! Wonderful list Lyn, I’ll be adding a couple to my tbr.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This list was a real adventure. I love Robin Benway so no idea why I’ve not read Audrey Wait. I’m also a big Richelle Mead fan and I’ve not read Soundless 😱. Need to put these things right – Micky

    Liked by 1 person

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